Countable Nouns Acting as Non-countable Nouns and Vice Versa

Depending on how they are used, some nouns that are considered non-countable are also used as countable. The following examples show how the same noun can function as both countable and non-countable:

Non-countable Countable
Some protein was left in the tube. We have isolated two proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin.
Water is required of all life forms. She requested a water with her meal.
Coffee is necessary for all lab personnel. I'll buy a coffee at Starbucks.
She studied calculus in college. The patient had a renal calculus.
Film should not be exposed to room light. A film formed on the side of the flask.

Return to Using Articles or go to Step 3: Using the Definite Article.

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